USA Network started on September 27, 1977, originally known as Madison Square Garden Network (not affiliated with the sports channel of the same name) owned by UA Columbia Cablevision and MCA, whose assets are mainly owned by NBC. On April 1980, MSGN changed its name to USA Network. In 1981, Time and Paramount would buy into a part of the fledging channel and by 1987 would each own a 50% share. In 1992, USA Network would launch a sister station of their own known as the Sci Fi channel. Viacom would later buy out Paramounts' 50% and then sell it to Seagrams along with the Sci Fi channel and Home Shopping Network. USA Network, Sci Fi channel, Trio and USA films would be sold to Vevendi Universal and in turn had 80% bought up by General Electrics' NBC giving them controlling power in 2003.
The channel started out broadcasting edited films and second run TV series.They also shared a feed with BET and C-Span when they first began, although was listed as the USA Network in TV Guide. For the earlier years, USA showed a morning block of game shows including Press Your Luck
and The $25,000/$100,000 Pyramid
. They also ventured into the sports field with major golf tournaments and the US Open tennis tournament.Another sports field the ventured into was boxing with the Friday Night Fights
. USA recently has added same day broadcasts of the Olympic Games, along with the NBC feed. They also gave the WWF wrestling a shot until they lost the rights to TNN/Spike TV. They would later re-sign the WWE Raw
series away from Spike TV. Although a minor player in the cable world, USA has branched out by broadcasting their own first run shows such as Monk
, The 4400
and The Dead Zone
. This has helped increase their status as a up and coming channel.
Also Known As
Madison Square Garden Network (1971–1979)